Cryptography and security is difficult to get right.
Very frequently it is manipulated for profit by vested interests and experts rarely try to get it right. Instead they pursue celebrity, research grants, personal obsessions, they want to please their friends or their sponsors, they are embarrassed to tell the truth, they are afraid to become unpopular etc.
Experts are also frequently just delusional and frequently also they are just wrong or they don’t care.
In order to overcome the bias it is useful to consider alternative non-standard ways of approximating answers to some important questions. It is also simply a tool to increase the awareness that certain problems are important and that many people would like to know the answer [or in fact also have a vested interest in the answer].
We have bets, information markets, games, challenges, prizes, competitions, contests etc…
All these are basically non-standard methods to reveal some truth about some interesting questions and communicate it to others. We do not claim that they are always good indicators of what the answer is, but they certainly reveal something interesting. They are also just games which people play in which participants are asked to take sides and take some risks, or just to provide some information or some opinion to the market. Finally they are also a method to crowd-source the solutions to some problems.
We list some such things here.
- Is bitcoin cryptography secure? Know the market sentiment.
- Our student blockchain security prize fund: see here.
- Some crypto challenges have been heavily criticized, see one example here.
Additional cash prizes, challenges and bounties on similar questions in applied financial cryptography and crypto research will be announced soon at this blog.